Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama vs. Lobbyists

"I am ready to fight."

I remember when many during the primaries fights thought Obama was not tough enough. I never did. Though I did not like many of the Clinton shenanigans during the primary war, I never thought Obama was not tough enough. He is and he was. The man is from Chicago politics, the street fighting kind. If you can't deal, fight or maneuver in Chicago you will get your lunch eaten.

Much of Obama's agenda is what he campaigned for during the election cycle. Much of the Republican upheaval is that the public voted for this agenda. Remember Obama won by 7 points, this was no win by a state, this was a change election, mandate election. That is the uphill climb for the Republicans, times are tough for millions of Americans and the last eight years did not help the many who ended up switching from the Republicans to voting Democrat.

Change. That means lobbyists, too.

Lobbyists were the number one vocal point during the Obama Campaign, BEFORE the first vote was cast in the Iowa Caucuses. The lobbyists never imagined Barack Obama would assume the presidency. They could deal with a Hillary Clinton or John McCain in the White House, primarily because they took their money for their campaigns. Obama did not take the money from K Street and once he became the Democratic Nominee this was an uphill battle for these lobbyists.

K Street has been given open access, helped craft legislation to help their clients for years on the hill, but not more prominently that during the Bush boom. The bad thing about this is that not all lobbying is bad, there are many organizations, many non-profit organizations that lobby but since the Jack Abramoff scandal the word "lobby" has been tainted badly. The Abramoff scandal let the American public see the many deals that were cut in the back room, not for the benefit of the public, become revealed in the front room. Much was illegal, unethical and even immoral and the Republicans suffered partly for it at the ballot boxes in 2006, with many Republicans ending their careers in scandal or a prison cell dealing with Abramoff.

This is what Obama campaigned against. Corruption of K Street. Now the fight is on.

K Street will not give up an inch, it means money and power. They have not been invited to the table, yet. Remember in politics, yet is a word never far away. The word healthcare is scary to K Street. It means reeling in all the players to the table and opening up honest dialogue about the lack of access in this country to millions of Americans that need it. As college for young folk is becoming inaccessible, healthcare in this country is becoming access for those who have money and non-access if you don't.

As we watch all this unravel, remember what Obama told the public this week and in his weekly address today:

"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long," Obama said in his weekly radio and video address. "But I don't. I work for the American people."

[snip]

"I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight," Obama said, using tough-guy language reminiscent of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "My message to them is this: So am I."

Those words are powerful. It was the American people that put him in office to fix the catastrophe that the Bush Administration left. It is the American people that are sick and tired of the rich getting richer, middle class evaporating and the underclass in poverty row. People don't believe in the "rich makes jobs" any longer. They had opportunity to do so and many shipped the jobs overseas for tax breaks and to layer their own bank accounts. That argument is moot. This public is angry that rich folk have destroyed the banking industry, that the SEC knew about Madoff running around milking folks while doing nothing about it, and they are left paying for all of this. The public is mad. They don't want any fatcats telling their sob stories because they lost some money, what about them?

The American public has not had a president working for them for a very long time. To be frank, it is refreshing to have a president tell K Street that he is ready to fight, to let the public know what is coming, and have the PEOPLE line up behind him.

That is change that K Street will have to believe in, eventually.

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Jim Bunning, "Do it!!! Resign from the Senate!!! Send that message!!!!"

Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) an eyesore, throwback from the 1950s thinking, not with the current GOP and an albatross of verbal viagra now threatening to resign from the Senate to hurt the GOP.

Bunning has taken serious heat for his statements about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her fight with cancer. Stating the type of cancer is one Ginsburg will die from in 9 months. Who in their right mind that is in the prestigious senate and a supposedly statesman would make a statement like that? He may have been a good baseball player but has shown repeatedly over the years that he is not a good senator. The GOP would not miss him, but would surely miss that VOTE.

Already in conflict with his party’s leaders, Sen. Jim Bunning has reportedly said privately that if he is hindered in raising money for his re-election campaign he is ready with a response that would be politically devastating for Senate Republicans: his resignation.
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The Kentucky Republican suggested that possible scenario at a campaign fundraiser for him on Capitol Hill earlier this week, according to three sources who asked not to be identified because of the politically sensitive nature of Bunning’s remarks.

The implication, they said, was that Bunning would allow Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, to appoint his replacement — a move that could give Democrats the 60 votes they need to block Republican filibusters in the Senate.

“I would get the last laugh. Don’t forget Kentucky has a Democrat governor,” one of the sources quoted Bunning as saying.

“The only logical extension of that comment is, ‘(Make me mad) … enough and I’ll resign, and then you’ve got 60 Democrats,’ ” said another source who was present at the event.

Senate Republicans have had it with Bunning, the Justice Ginsburg statements was it for many.
In recent weeks, Senate Republican leaders have walked right up to the edge of declaring open war on Bunning. Minority Leader (and fellow Kentucky senator) Mitch McConnell and others reportedly believe Bunning is likely to lose his reelection race in 2010, and so are trying to nudge him into retirement by sending signals that the party establishment will not back him.

Hot Damn, so Bunning is threatening to LEAVE now versus when the Senate Republicans WANT him to!! Republicans, I know you are real tired of his outrageous statements over the years, his closeted racist views, and his ignorance. His statements on Justice Ginsburg was enough for many on the GOP side. But, let's remember politics, his governor (a Democrat) could appoint a Democrat to finish Bunning's seat and that would be the 60 seat proof filibuster the Democrats want, if things in Minnesota goes the Democratic way. So, expect many (Republicans) to shut up on the hill and take it. Expect Bunning to continue to make the statements that have gotten him in trouble, repeatedly. Expect the GOP primary of 2010 in Kentucky to be one to OUST Bunning for good.

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Nico Pitney

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President Obama's Weekly Radio Address, February 28, 2009 (Video and Transcript)

Titled: Keeping Promises




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Transcript

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Friday, February 27, 2009

FLOTUS, Michelle Obama visited the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ), Video and Transcript


Liar, Liar....Pants on Fire....That is Bobby Jindal (Video)

Well, Jindal's Louisiana story was that of fiction, depending who you believe. In the end, he did not come up smelling like a rose, but the opposite.

Remember that story Bobby Jindal told in his big speech Tuesday night — about how during Katrina, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a local sheriff who was battling government red tape to try to rescue stranded victims?

Turns out it wasn’t actually, you know, true.

But now, a Jindal spokeswoman has admitted to Politico that in reality, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone “days later.” The spokeswoman said she thought Lee, who died in 2007, was being interviewed about the incident at the time.

This is no minor difference. Jindal’s presence in Lee’s office during the crisis itself was a key element of the story’s intended appeal, putting him at the center of the action during the maelstrom. Just as important, Jindal implied that his support for the sheriff helped ensure the rescue went ahead. But it turns out Jindal wasn’t there at the key moment, and played no role in making the rescue happen.

Politicians, no wonder folks are cynical. Jindal did not have to take a simple story like this and jack it up to make himself look good. In fact, have the Republicans learned anything in regards to Katrina? Folks put scowls on their faces for the memory because it was the Republican President who played politics while folks were literally dying there. Tip to Republicans, "Let Katrina GO. You won't score any points on that topic, PERIOD."

The lie, here:



h/t jjp

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The Basketball President is at the Wizards and Bulls Game in D.C. (Pictures)

No matter how badly the Bulls are playing, have played and in the midst of re-organizing, Obama is a Bulls fan to the END.









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Dayum!!!!!!!! Obama 's Approval among Republicans jumps up 15 points per Gallup; Up to 67% Overall....

Dayum!!! All Obama needs to do is keep going on television with the pointed, but sweet blast, hopping on Air Force One to tell his side of the story to the people, and the Republicans retreat every single time.



Obama's overall approval rating jumped to 67 percent.

The more dramatic development?

His approval rating among Republicans jumped 15 points -- from 27 to 42 percent in a week.

Being the party of obstrutionists is really working for the Republicans!!!!

h/t Library Grape

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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama's Official Portrait



She looks DAMN GOOD!!! GO GIRL!!! Michelle and her BARE ARMS. An inspiration to all, especially us ladies, to WORK OUT!!! Fitness First!!!



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Obama's Speech on Withdrawing Troops from Iraq by 2010 and all by 2011 in North Carolina (Video and Transcript)



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Transcript


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Out of Iraq, sort of....

Out of Iraq by 2010, with only 35,000 to 50,000 residual troops left on the ground.

President Barack Obama planned to declare on Friday that the United States would end its bloody and costly combat mission in Iraq by late summer of 2010, but a dramatic force reduction was not expected until after the country's national elections at the end of this year, senior administration officials said.

The president was to announce the Aug. 31, 2010, conclusion of the mission Friday morning at the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Even with the end of the combat mission, three months later than Obama pledged during his presidential campaign, a force numbering between 35,000 to 50,000 Americans forces will stay behind, with the final troops not slated to leave until Dec. 31, 2011.

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Citigroup needs more money from the government

This huge organization has been hit hard by greed and the collapse of the housing market. Of course it will have to go under a stress test, which it will FAIL, let's be honest here it will, but it will be given more money thrown at its bad debt.

Eventually, how much longer will this go on before this bank collapse? We can't save them all.

The government is on the verge of closing a deal to significantly boost its ownership stake in Citigroup. In return, it will demand changes be made on the troubled banking giant's board and other conditions, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.

The increased stake in Citigroup Inc. will not require additional money from taxpayers and the bank will still have to undergo a "stress test," such as those that banking regulators started conducting this week on the nation's biggest banks, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal hasn't been officially announced.

And when you want bad news to cycle fast through the news, you dump it on Friday.

Again, we must shore up our financial market but for any of us to think Citigroup is the only major bank out there teetering, then you must not have heard of another giant, Bank of America or AIG. Will it ever end? That is China continuing to own this country by paying for this crisis?

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Matt Lauer calls out Rick Santelli on White House "threatening him" (Video)

Really, get this man and his nonsense, who lives in the high rent district of Chicago off the television. Kudos to Lauer calling Rick Santelli OUT for his bullshit nonsense.



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Portuguese Water Dog is heading to the White House for the Obama Family (Video)

The First Dog is Coming!!!

This is a wonderful breed with a wonderful temperament. Most importantly, loyal to its owners. The Obama girls will love this dog. More information on this breed, here.



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Obama unveils the 2010 budget (Video and Transcript)


President Obama


Transcript

Full Budget

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Weekly Job Claim, 667,000, UNEMPLOYED, tops 5M unemployed

These are new job claims.

It is really bad out there and not getting better.

Number per, MSNBC.

New jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week to 667,000, with continuing claims topping the 5 million mark.

Thursday morning’s data from the Labor Department are the latest evidence that the current recession is deepening as it extends into its second year.

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FLOTUS, Michelle Obama introducing Stevie Wonder at the White House (Video)

More importantly, the media is fixated on Michelle and her sleeveless attire, which is stunning. Maybe, we should look at it this way, if you like her arms, shoulders and back, it is called WEIGHT LIFTING, which is good for women. Let's start there, ladies!!

Lastly, Michelle Obama is a YOUNG WOMAN, not Barbara Bush nor Laura Bush, but a YOUNG WOMAN who is pulling her fashion style off with chic class. The last thing I want is a young woman looking like a 65 year old woman.

Michelle, keep doing your thing, not anyone else's, but YOURS.




Michelle wears Tracy Reese for $395 on cover of People Magazine


To view Michelle's various styles, click here.

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General Motors in huge trouble

GM posts 9.6 billion quarterly loss.

Say what you want about the auto industry, just another problem piled on top of many problems, but if this industry goes down we are looking at millions unemployed, not thousands, but millions monthly. The dichotomy that the market will continue to fix itself is a moot point when the market, financial industry is teetering to brink with their hands out begging and needing money to stay in business. Yes, the housing market is to blame for much of this, but remember who gives out loans and who put the stamp on loans. Remember, who changed many income brackets on loans for consumers to get in homes many knew they could not afford. Remember, the consumer who not only knew they could not afford this home, but was ignorant to understanding the word "fixed" versus "adjustable". But lastly, remember the financial industry lobbied for deregulation, used the loop holes, and did not care at the end because this industry walked away with not millions but billions.

The public has every right to be angry at the financial and banking industry. The public has every right about the housing industry being in chaos when many are responsible home owners. The public has every right to not want to save these industries, but if we just let the "market" fix itself we will look at chaos. Do I like throwing money to these losers? HELL NO. But I am tired of my property value going down, the unemployment numbers are atrocious, and I am tired of management irresponsibility at the private and public sector.

Now General Motors. I have beef with them too. Not running a fiscal responsible company, selling SUVS and not able to edit on a dime as the consumers change, and one of the last lions in this country that actually makes something. This thing of letting this industry die out is also irresponsible. Many reading this blog had parents that used to have a job for 30 or 40 years and were raised in a middle class home due to companies like General Motors. We were raised having decent health care, able to go to college, parents able to purchase a home, due to companies like GM. We need to step back and look at the big picture. If the auto industry goes down, so does everything else associated with it.

Now General Motors has one of the worst losses ever on their books. For anyone to think that the market will correct itself, then don't nag and complain about all these foreign companies running around this country selling products and most of our food supply. The market won't correct itself for a very long time. Home prices won't go back to what you or I want for a very long time. Trade in this country needs to be adjusted and companies leaving and throwing workers to the curb need to be fined. But this is just my rant, while many are wondering what will really happen to the auto industry in this country, because if we have to continue to bailout the banking industry which is half responsible for where we are economically, why do we think we can continue to piss on an industry for the middle class worker? If we don't want to help the auto industry, then f*ck the banking industry. And this is not only how I feel, but many other Americans in the long run.

General Motors Corp. says it lost $9.6 billion in the fourth quarter and burned through $6.2 billion in cash as it sought government help to avoid running out of cash.

The nation’s biggest domestic automaker lost $30.9 billion for all of 2008 as it struggled against a U.S. sales slump and a global recession.

GM has received $13.4 billion in federal loans and its executives are in Washington, D.C., Thursday to talk to the Obama administration about the company’s request for up to $30 billion.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

52 Million PLUS watched Obama's speech on television

He is keeping folks engaged.

More than 52 million people watched President Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress in prime time on Tuesday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The TV audience, pegged at 52.4 million by Nielsen, does not include out-of-home or online viewers. Nielsen said the address, which was broadcast roughly between 9 and 10:30 p.m., averaged a 49 share across 10 networks, which means that almost half of the people watching TV at the time were watching Mr. Obama’s speech.

The sizable audience for Tuesday’s address is the latest in a series of Nielsen indications that the nation is paying close attention to the new president. Mr. Obama’s first prime-time news conference on Feb. 9 drew an average of 49.5 million viewers on eight networks.

George W. Bush’s first address before Congress, in Feb. 2001, reached an average audience of 39.8 million viewers.

Online, a C-SPAN video of Mr. Obama’s address has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube. The Republican response, delivered by Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, has been viewed more than 75,000 times.

Another comparison: Mr. Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco stadium during the Democratic National Convention broke records for a convention speech at 38 million. The numbers were about the same for the inaugural address, although some considered those deflated because it occurred during an afternoon when people were at school and at work, and not in prime time.

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President Barack Obama Hosts "Stevie Wonder in Performance at the White House: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize" (Pictures)

Full Detailed Information of this event at the White House here.












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Conservative, David Brooks on Bobby Jindal's Response, "Disaster" (Video)

If you have not seen it, here it is.



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Michelle Obama and her BARE ARMS



I saw this bit on the msnbc site about Michelle Obama and her bare arms.

It reminded me of when Michelle had her arms bare in California, during the primaries before Super Tuesday, when she was with Oprah, Stevie Wonder and Maria Shriver. A friend of mine's said that she will eventually have to stop baring her arms and I wondered, "WHY?"

Michelle Obama is fit, one of the few fit (as in athletically) First Ladies we have had in this country. It is obvious that she not only works out but lifts weights. Look at her arms, shoulders and back. That is lifting baby!!! I should know, I lift and the only way I got my shoulders and arms cut was from lifting. Nothing wrong with it. In fact, it will keep a woman's bone density solid and if you are trying to lose weight, will tighten it up faster with cardio and proper diet.

Michelle Obama is not like the rest of the former First Ladies. She is a young woman with young children, she is not Laura Bush. Michelle baring arms, wearing bold colors is all about confidence. If you got it, show it, and she does with taste and class.

Lastly, I am glad that Michelle Obama has her sights on nutrition and will start talking about healthy diet and living from the White House. This is all part of the package. Healthy living includes exercise and the proper diet.
Whether or not you agree with her right to bare arms, can you say she looked inappropriate? Uncomfortable? Vulgar? She didn't need any flashy baubles or shocking color to stand out; her rich deep purple looked regal. Michelle looked fresh and age appropriate. She came across chic, sleek, modern, poised, confident and vibrant. After all, if we've been able to get past wearing white after Labor Day, maybe it's time to embrace exposed arms (even in Washington)?

While dress codes may be a factor at times, most women opt to cover up out of self-consciousness. The fact that Michelle is confident and comfortable showing off a part of the body that many women loathe to expose (especially after our twenties), may in fact be inspiring. In modern times when we are dealing with headlines about obesity epidemics to anorexic models on the runway -- a first lady who is fit, healthy, active and takes pride in working out should be a role model.

Ladies, weight lifting is good for you. And right now I am into kettlebells, one of the quickest ways to get fit. Try it.




Inside Michelle Obama's White House


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Obama Announces Former Governor Gary Locke (D-WA) for Commerce Secretary (Video and Transcript)



Transcript

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CoS, Rahm Emanuel's interview with Brian Williams, NBC (Video)



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MSNBCs Olbermann, Maddow and Matthews stunned by Bobby Jindal (Video)



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Bobby Jindal not ready for prime time, yet

Everyone is blasting Bobby Jindal, they should, he was that bad in the Republican response delivery last night, but he has time.

When Barack Obama first graced the debate stage in April of 2007, he was that bad, too. After the debate, I remember telling my husband time for "debate school for television." This is how Hillary Clinton emerged the inevitable candidate for most of 2007 because she was that good in the debates.

Barack Obama is a thoughtful, winded speaker and over the time he got better in his delivery at debates. He found a way to bring humor in his statements. He learned because he ran for President for two years. Jindal will have time, if he is serious about running for the presidency in 2012.

Optics for television is a must. All of 2007, the Republican candidates talked about tunneling Ronald Reagan, but none of them were. Reagan was not called the great communicator for nothing. Many of the things that Obama is doing early in his presidency is what Reagan did. The one thing is taking the message to the people, making the public understand what he means and letting the public know that cable chatter will continue to try to get it twisted. Let's face it about the cable channels, that is their job to keep friction going or they would have nothing to talk about. Jindal will have to learn the optics of television and learn to become pleasing on the eye or an actor, but more importantly next time to know what and what not to say after speaking behind this century's great communicator, President Obama.

It seems that the GOP or Republican Party only has one way to run, the hard right for 2012. Though their party needs to bring moderates and that party to the center, this is not what they will do in 2012. For them in 2012, their candidate will have to be a hard right conservative, period. The problem is that I don't know if that will work. This country, at this point, have refused the Republican Party and gave Obama a mandate. Their strongest talking point was their fiscal responsibility and they allowed it to become decimated during the Bush Administration, now they are fighting to retain it. It will be hard, especially when no fiscal restraint was made under your watch.

As they position themselves for the future, these governors are following a well-worn GOP roadmap, which calls for national Republican candidates to run hard to the right to woo their party's most conservative base.

That roadmap didn't work in the 2008 presidential election. But Republicans' stubborn political GPS won't let them recalculate. They continue to follow it, even if it means putting personal political interest ahead of their constituents' economic interests.

Lastly, if Obama's Stimulus Package does not work or appear to turn this country around, it will be the talking point for 2010 for the Republicans. Obama's job is to keep this country engaged, keep the transparency and process open, and remind the public that it will take time to turn this country around. These problems were not just dumped on the desk of Barack Obama when he ascended to the presidency, these problems have been around for some time now, most during Bush's time in office. Time will tell.

And Jindal, hire an acting coach and speech coach, believe me after last night, you are just not ready for prime time.

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Jindal's speech on video

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

President Barack Obama's Speech to Joint Session of Congress and Governor Bobby Jindal's Republican Response (Video)


President Barack Obama's Transcript in English or en espaƱol.



Governor Bobby Jindal, The Republican Response


If this is one of the savior's of the Republican Party, they will continue to stay in the weeds. Bobby Jindal gave one of the WORST PERFORMANCES ever. I knew it would be hard to follow Obama, but Jindal was just jaw dropping bad.

CNNs Instant Poll and Obama Hit a Home Run
MSNBCs Analyst Response on Jindal's Speech

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Pictures of President Obama's Speech to Joint Session of Congress
















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